Ketchikan’s Ward Lake recreation area. (KRBD file photo)

The U.S. Forest Service on Thursday released its draft decision for recreation area improvements at Ward Lake, finding the project will have no significant impacts. If approved, work could start as soon as August.

Proposed projects include construction of new cabins at Signal Creek campground and Perseverance Lake, a new day-use shelter at Last Chance Campground, trail maintenance, updated signage, and development of fishing access points to the lake for people with disabilities.

A 45-day comment period opened June 9 and runs through July 25. The Forest Service will only accept objections from those who previously submitted specific written comments on the proposed project.

More information is available from the Ketchikan Misty Fjords Ranger District.

Below is the press release with links to project documents and contact information.


KETCHIKAN, Alaska, June 9, 2023 — The Ward Lake Recreation Area is set to see some significant improvements happening as soon as August of this year. The Draft Decision Notice for the Ward Lake Recreation Area Improvements Project is now available, opening a 45-day objection period that ends July 25th.

The goal of the project is to reduce long-term maintenance costs and make improvements that elevate the overall user experience. Some of the actions included in the selected alternative are two new cabins; picnic shelter, trail, parking lot and road repair; gate and signage replacement; and making outhouses ADA accessible. The project will also address aquatic habitat conditions and soil erosion in the area.

“The selected alternative reflects my commitment to providing facilities and recreation opportunities that meet public demand, are sustainable, and provide for the health and safety of all users,” said Cathy Tighe, Ketchikan Misty Fjords District Ranger.

The Environmental Analysis (EA), Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), Draft Decision Notice and additional information regarding this proposed project are available online at: and also available for review at the Ketchikan Misty Fjords Ranger District, 3031 Tongass Avenue, Ketchikan, AK 99901.

Objections will only be accepted from those who have previously submitted specific written comments regarding the proposed project during scoping or other designated opportunities for public comment in accordance with 36 CFR 218.5(a). Issues raised in objections must be based on previously submitted, timely, specific written comments regarding the proposed project unless the issues are based on new information arising after designated comment opportunities.

Objections must be sent to:

Frank Sherman, Tongass Forest Supervisor

Federal Building

648 Mission Street, Suite 110

Ketchikan, Alaska 99901

Fax: 907-228-6301

Objections can also be submitted online at:

A final Decision Notice is expected in August 2023, with potential implementation soon after. Projects will be completed as personnel (including partners and volunteers), time, and funding allow.

For more information about the project, please contact Ketchikan Misty Fjords District Ranger Cathy Tighe (907-228-4100, or District Recreation Staff Officer Denise Wolvin 907-228-4134,